Monthly Archives: November 2008

HOWTO: Convert and write AVCHD (.mts) to DVD with Linux

You’ve got a brand-new AVCHD camcorder from Panasonic, Sony or Canon and recorded your kids the first time in HD quality and want now to show the footage to your children’s grandmother?
Sure, no problem.
Just plug your camcorder directly into your also brand-new BluRay-writer or convert and author the footage with your Windows box first ;-) *kidding*
We’re of course on Linux and we don’t have a BluRay-writer, at least grandma doesn’t have one. What now? Well – I assume granny has a DVD-player. And we’re in the game again. I assume also you know how to compile (see other articles at this site, if not) and you also know how to install missing packages (e.g.: “apt-get install dvdauthor growisofs” ).
We just need these free Linux tools: Continue reading

KDE’s KSnapshot vs. Gnome’s gnome-screenshot

Don’t you like the gnome-screenshot shadow effect and knapshot region feature?
Well, I like both effects, but unfortunately can’t have them both in one application. Moreover I don’t like to start such overkill applications like Gimp or stuff.
Since I’m an KDE user I do have the ‘region’ goody, and am missing the shadow effect. Now I’ve find out, that I can launch the gnome-screenshot with the KDE environment without any problems. It’s simple done by executing this in the command line: Continue reading

HOWTO change avatar size in WordPress


The Problem:
The default icon size of the avatar in WordPress is too small. (Go directly to step 4, if you’re in a hurry)
As a WordPress novice I’ve been looking for a switch to change the avatar size, but I couldn’t find any. If you login as SiteAdmin and go to Settings->Discussion, there’s only the possibility to choose between

  • Mystery Man
  • Blank
  • Gravatar Logo
  • Identicon (Generated)
  • Wavatar (Generated)
  • MonsterID (Generated)

Continue reading

VDPAU – The NVIDIA 180.06 beta driver for Linux – or how to play back AVCHD with GPU acceleration

[UPDATE] Read here about the latest development of NVIDIA’s vdpau video output driver: Tag: vdpau
I’ve been waiting for this moment a very long time, and honestly speaking, I didn’t really believe I would play AVCHD content form my Canon HF100 with hardware acceleration on Linux in the next future.

But today I did. Yes!

This is going to be a little HOWTO about installing NVIDIA’s new Beta driver 180.06 on a Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex).

Please consider this is all real Beta stuff, and it’s really not suitable for usage in a productive environment. I had more glitches, than successfull playback attempts, and the developers of NVIDIA don’t claim it’s a bullet prove application, like you can read it in this document: Continue reading

How to fix/repair broken Matroska (.mkv) files with Linux

A “two steps HOWTO” to fix your broken Matroska file.
Downloading High Definition(HD, 720p, 1080p, x264 encoded) content via torrent or other isn’t unusual nowadays anymore. Unfortunately such content is very big in size, and you have sometimes to wait a very long time until your latest serial has completely hit your hard disk drive. Sometimes it happens the only available source is an archive file (.rar) and you have to unrar it first, before you can watch it. And sometimes you encounter also this message on unpacking it: Continue reading

[solved] vmware: wrong/broken keyboard mapping

I’ve installed VMware Server 2.0 ( from 2008/10/29 | Build: 122956) on a 64bit Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex), and set up a Fedora9 and a Ubuntu 8.10 32bit instance. Unfortunately the keyboard mapping was messed up pretty much. If I tried to go up with the arrow key a “save screenshot” window poped up. I only was able to use the navigation keys on the num-pad. A bunch of other keys didn’t work either. Either I was tired or a bit too silly to find the solution for the problem quickly. At the end it was simply a wrong search pattern in Google and laziness to read more thoroughly. Continue reading

Linux – AVCHD (H.264) – hardware acceleration

[UPDATE] Read here about the latest development, regarding hardware acceleration on Linux: http://blog.mymediasystem.net/?tag=vdpau

The truth about Linux’ capability of playing back AVCHD content

NEWS! It’s getting tense! Read this post from the NVIDIA Manager Andy Ritger: http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/xorg/2008-November/040279.html

This section is going to be about my experiences with Linux and HD television. It covers topics like VDR und h264 support. Playing back mpeg transport stream (mts/m2ts) footage from camcorders like Canon’s HF100 or Panasonic’s HDC-SD100. Both cams record in the AVCHD format, aka mpeg4/AVC. This page will also describe my progresses playing back this AVCHD footage. No – I’m not there yet ;-) Continue reading

[solved] Firefox: “Could not find compatible GRE” after Ubuntu 8.10 Upgrade

After an update of my Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) my Firefox didn’t want to start anymore.

This is what the command line returned after I started Firefox in there:

Could not find compatible GRE between version 1.9.0.1 and 1.9.0.*.

The solution for the problem was quite simple. This line made Firefox work again:

sudo xulrunner-1.9 --register-global

Playback Problem of AVCHD (.mts) with CoreAVC 1.8.5.0

Like in older versions, such as 1.7.0 and 1.8.0, CoreAVC version 1.8.5 has still problems playing back AVCHD. The affected camcorder models I know of are:

  • Canon HF10
  • Canon HF100
  • Panasonic HDC-SD1
  • Panasonic HDC-SD5
  • Panasonic HDC-SD9
  • Panasonic HDC-SD100

The playback still jitter a lot if used without a deinterlacer, and I’ve got about 10 frames a second (estimated). Seeking within the footage works now, wheres regarding the existing problems it’s a really cold comfort.
A workaround, for playing back AVCHD footage is described here at several places. Just use latest mplayer and a decent CPU.
If anybody likes to extend the list of affected camcorder models, please post them here, I’ll update the list above and will keep tracking this issue.